Unofficial reports say Banda has been given an embarrassing defeat by ex-Foreign Minister Prof. Peter Mutharika, the younger brother to the late president Bingu wa Mutharika whom she succeeded as president.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate was by Thursday evening leading by close to half a million votes followed by preacher-turned-politician Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
President Banda has refused to concede defeat and instead called for a manual recount of votes citing massive voter irregularities. She has also accused DPP of “infiltrating and hacking the Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) counting system.”
Immediately after Banda’s press conference, the Malawian military and elite Police officers raided the residences of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Prof. Peter Mutharika amid escalating political tension over results of Tuesday presidential elections.
Mutharika told a news conference at his Nyambadwe house in Blantyre, that his guards refused the soldiers and cops entry because they had no search warrant condemning the raid as “serious threat to democracy”.
“They came around 10am, but my security officers denied them entry. This is a serious threat to democracy since the army and police are supposed to protect and not intimidate citizens,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika sounded poised to form government, saying he will not do any retribution. “This country is bigger than individuals. We have a lot of work to do as you all know that this government almost collapsed. So there will be no room targeting people,” said Mutharika sounding as an incoming leader.
“In fact I would not want anyone to suffer like I and my family did. This tendency that former presidents in the region have to live in fear has to stop. So no one should be scared if I am elected,” said Mutharika.
Joyce Banda took power following the death of 78-year-old President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office after heading up the southern Africa country since 2004.
Born in 1950 in the village of Malemia near the southern town of Zomba, Joyce Hilda Ntila was the eldest in a family of five children.
Her father was the leader of Malawi’s police brass band and her youngest sister, Anjimile, ran pop star Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi until it closed in December. She left her first husband in 1981, taking her three children with her, because he was abusive and later married her current husband Justice Richard Banda (former Chief Justice of Malawi) with whom she has two children.